Victor Oladipo reportedly wants to leave the Pacers and sign a max contract.
Which is more important to him?
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
A source said Oladipo likes Indiana and would be happy staying there with a big new contract, but that if he were to leave, Miami would be No. 1 on his list.
So, Oladipo’s relationship with the Pacers apparently isn’t completely ruined. Remember, when asked about rumors he wanted to leave, Oladipo didn’t deny them.
But he’s at least trying to pressure Indiana into paying him.
Oladipo, who’s entering the final year of his contract, can sign an extension worth up to $112,896,000 over four years. However, his max in 2021 free agency, would be about $131 million over four years – even if the salary cap remains flat for two years and he signs with a new team. If the salary cap increases and/or Oladipo re-signs, he could get even more.
Would Oladipo take the largest-possible extension from the Pacers now?
Maybe a better question: Would they offer it?
Oladipo is coming off major injury and struggled in his return. That’s understandable given his long layoffs (for the injury and the coronavirus-forced hiatus). But it’s still not encouraging.
If not extending him, Indiana could always trade Oladipo before he becomes a free agent. But for the same reasons the Pacers might not extend his contract, other teams would be reluctant to trade for him.
Oladipo would boost his stock if he returns to form next season. But he also risks continuing to flounder on the court, dropping his value even further.
Perhaps, he and Indiana can find fair extension terms that mitigate risk on both sides. Oladipo could guarantee a large payday, and Indiana could lock in a franchise cornerstone.
But it’s also easy to see both sides preferring to play out the season and gain more information.
The Heat are reportedly prioritizing Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021 free agency and view Oladipo as a fallback option. But if Oladipo plays well, he’ll have no shortage of suitors – likely including the Pacers.